Norman D. Nevills took his first major voyage in 1938, floating from Green River, Utah, through the Grand Canyon. This journey included the first woman ever to float Cataract and Grand Canyons.
In 1940, Nevills decided to float from Green River, Wyoming to Lake Mead. The party included his wife Doris, and one other woman. Their departure from Expedition Island on June 20th, 1940 was marked by ceremonies with Wyoming and Utah state officials who presented Nevills with special license plates for his boats. The trip was successful, but not without hardship.br
During the 1940's, Nevills ran commercial river trips on several western rivers. On June 21st, 1947, Nevills returned to Wyoming for another commercial trip on the Green River to Jensen, Utah. By the time of his death in September, 1949, Nevills had run the Grand Canyon more times than any other person and was known as "the world's number one fastwater man."
When Nevills was at Expedition Island in 1947, he inspired a local man, A.K. Reynolds, to start his own business. Reynolds, Mike Hallacy, and G.G. Larson, all Green River residents, built cataract boats to Nevills' specifications and started Reynolds-Hallacy River Expeditions. Reynolds ran trips on the upper Green until the early 1960's and the inundation of the river under Flaming Gorge Reservoir.